Area Supervisor: Scott Boyle
Office: MPAC 152
As part of the TH1699 Running Crew Practicum, the Shift Crew is responsible for prepping the stage prior to performance (including but not limited to sweeping and mopping the stage as directed by stage management, moving scenery into preset positions, setting out props, etc.), manipulating the scenery as needed during the performance run as well as performing post-show duties (these too include but are not limited to; cleaning the stage, flying out masking as needed, putting props back into storage, etc.) The Shift Crew reports to the Stage Manager and/or Assistant Stage Manager(s) during all technical and dress rehearsals as well as the performances. The Shift Crew is also expected to participate in the Strike of the show once it closes.
Seeing a Run Through
Stage Management will contact Shift Crew member regarding when to see a run-through of the show, which likely will be during the final week of rehearsal prior to it going into technical rehearsal. Shift Crew members should make every effort to attend at least one of these rehearsals as it will provide an idea of the nature of the show and the crew member’s role with it.
Usually the crew isn’t supposed to be noticed backstage so the default dress code is to wear all black. Black long-sleeved shirts or sweatshirts, black pants, black shoes and socks. Crew members with long hair should tie their hair back. Depending on the area the crew may be working, it is not uncommon for crew members with blonde or other light colored hair to cover their hair with a black cap or bandana. Occasionally, the design team wants the crew to “live within the world of the play” meaning crew members will be in costume. If this decision has been made, crew members will be contacted by Stage Management to report to the Costume Shop for fittings.
Technical Rehearsals take place over the weekend prior to the show opening, which can be two very long days of not much going on interspersed with flurries of activity. Unless otherwise notified by Stage Management, it is expected all crew members will attend technical rehearsals. Any work requirements or school activities must be cleared from the crew member’s schedule. If there are conflicts, the crew member must inform the instructor and stage management in advance to make arrangements.
Generally, UMD Theatre runs technical rehearsals on an AEA (Actors Equity Association – the union for actors and stage managers) model known as a “10 out of 12”, which means there are ten hours of rehearsal out of a 12 hour day. Typically, the crew will be called to the theater anywhere from an hour to two hours prior to the actors to receive their assignments, rehearse any scene shifts or learn other duties.
Once the technical rehearsal begins, the crew is to remain in the theater space (either in the house or backstage at the discretion of stage management) so they can perform their duties as needed. Crew members may do homework, read, etc. as long as it is not distracting to others or keeps the crew members distracted from performing their duties.
Just like Technical Rehearsals, crew members are expected to attend all Dress Rehearsals and Performances. Dress Rehearsals are on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday following the Technical Rehearsals. Generally, the crew is called to the theater 90 minutes prior to curtain. Stage Management will determine the call times for the crew. Depending on the needs of the show, the crew may be tasked with staying a half hour after the show for post-show duties.
Generally, Strike is held on the Sunday afternoon after the Saturday night performance. There are the odd productions which close on a Sunday, which means Strike will commence immediately after the final performance. The Shift Crew is usually asked to assist the Props Department return props to their storage areas as instructed by the Props Coordinator. If enrolled in either TH1399 – Stagecraft Practicum, TH1499 – Costume Construction Practicum, or TH1599 - Lighting/Sound Practicum, your responsibility for Strike will be to work those areas.
Final grade will be determined by the Instructor after consulting necessary production team members with regards to how well the duties listed above were executed and the timeliness of the crew member.